Greetings one and all and welcome to this week’s preview of releases out in Birmingham this week.
Child 44 (15)
Set in 1953 Soviet Russia, Child 44 tells the story of secret police agent Leo Demidov (Tom Hardy) who loses his status, power and home when he refuses to denounce his own wife, Raisa (Noomi Rapace), as a traitor.
He is exiled from Moscow to a backward provincial outpost and they join forces with General Mikhail Nesterov (Gary Oldman) to track down a serial killer who preys on young boys. In doing so they uncover a system-wide cover-up enforced by Leo’s psychopathic rival Vasili (Joel Kinnaman).
There are a few reviews out there which have a few dissenters amongst a mainly positive crop, with much praise for Hardy’s performance in particular. I will nearly always watch anything with Tom Hardy. Back in partnership again with Gary Oldman and a supporting list including Vincent Cassel and Paddy Considine, the cast alone is impressive.
Little Chaos, A (12A)
Director Alan Rickman has clearly revelled in the details of the court of Versailles and the title playfully hints at the bourgeois culture of the court of Louis XIV being tested with Winslett’s Madame Sabine De Barra entering a tale of love and courtship with French architect Le Nôtre which unravels court rivalries and jealousy.
It’s a role that Winslett is made for and Rickman has made this look like every bit the ‘actorly’, thesp filled affair you would probably come to expect with such a pioneering cast and this is the film’s draw.
The only caveat in my mind is that the trailer didn’t really show was anything remotely chaotic.
Salvation, The (15)
Mads Mikkelsen stars in bloody revenge Western set in 1870s North America. He plays a Danish settler called Jon who is forced to flee the life he has established in 1870s North America after executing the man who has murdered his wife and son. The man’s brother Delarue (Jeffrey Dean Morgan), a sadistic gang leader is hell bent on revenge. Jon is left to hunt down the outlaws alone in this blood-spattered saga of sin and redemption.
The Salvation is the third film this week with another stellar cast. More often than not the Western format is tried and tested but this looks like decent fair—good action, a splattering of bloodshed, big vistas landscapes, cameo performances …. and frankly, throw Mads Mikkelsen info the mix and you’ve always got something to latch onto.
The Emperor’s New Clothes + Live Q+A (15)
Showing in simultaneous screenings at the same time on Tuesday (21st) evening, this documentary from Michael Winterbottom and Russell Brand is an incisive polemic about the financial crisis fusing interviews, archives and Michael Moore style antics, offering insights in the gap between rich and poor, the nature of financial institutions and offering ideas on how to re-organise society.
The film will be followed by a live Q&A by Russell Brand.
Appropriate Behaviour (15)
Showing at the mac, and off the back of an acclaimed response at the Sundance Film Festival, Desiree Akhavan stars and directs in her debut feature. She plays Shirin in a witty comedy about being in a supposedly perfect Persian family, how to deal with cultural differences (including bisexual) and not seeking acceptance.
That’s it from me this week. As always, if you have any queries or comments, or I have missed anything, please drop me a line on twitter @timmy666. Until next week, have a great time at the cinema!